N!xau ≠Toma (16 December 1944 – 05 July 2003)
Known as the Namibian bush farmer, his role in the 1980 film, The Gods Must Be Crazy and its sequels in which he played ‘Xixo’ the Kalahari Bushman who discovers a Coca-Cola bottle brought him international fame and made him Namibia’s most famous actor. While he received only a few hundred dollars for his work in the original film, he negotiated over half a million for his appearance to the sequel of The Gods Must Be Crazy. His film acting career ended in 1994 having acted in Crazy Safari, Crazy Hong Kong and The Gods Must Be Funny in China. He spoke Jul’hoan, Otjiherero and Tswana fluently, as well as some Afrikaans, and was a man who attached little value to material items. In July 2003 he passed on in Tsumkwe at the estimated age of 59. He had 2 wives and 6 children. In 2017 the Namibia Film Commission established an African Film Fund in his name to honour his legacy and in 2019 the Namibian Theatre and Film Awards recognised the incredible contribution of N!xau ≠Toma for introducing Namibia to the rest of the world and for sensitizing us to guard against the exploitation of our local talents.
The N!xau ǂToma Film Fund (NTFF) is a Namibia Film Commission initiative with objectives that include, but are not limited to:
Increasing the number of active projects originated by African filmmakers that film in Namibia;
Supporting the career trajectory of ambitious African filmmakers;
Connecting Namibian film production sector with partners from Africa and the diaspora;
Strengthening collaboration between filmmakers from Namibia, the rest of Africa and the diaspora;
Supporting filmmaking that takes risks on talent, form and content;
Promoting filmmaking that showcases Namibian culture and landscapes.